The Mini Bernedoodle is a small, loving, family-friendly hybrid dog species that has gained a lot of popularity over the past couple of decades. They share many of the same traits as their full-grown Bernedoodle counterparts, but a few differences in behavior separate the two dogs.
The Mini Bernedoodle hybrid is the result of crossing the Bernese Mountain Dog’s genetics with the Miniature Poodle. Combining these two strong, loyal, and fun-loving breeds has resulted in a great family dog.
Their relatively small size makes them perfect for city living, tiny home living, or for roommate situations where a bigger dog would be uncomfortable and cooped up.
They typically weigh between 25 and 50 pounds. While they’re not exactly mini, that’s pretty small for any breed that’s crossed with the massive Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs have moderate energy levels, are great with kids, are very intelligent, and have no problem spending a day in the great outdoors.
Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at this wonderful hybrid breed. First, we’ll start by examining the breed’s history and lineage. We’ll then overview some of the Mini Bernedoodle’s key characteristics and answer some common questions about them.
Let’s take a look!
The Mini Bernedoodle: Origins
Like most “Doodle” varieties, Bernedoodles are crossed with the Poodle. Poodles have been around for hundreds of years and therefore have one of the strongest genetic pools. Aside from this, they exhibit good intelligence, positive attitudes and are good family dogs. This makes them one of the top choices when it comes to breeding hybrid dogs.
The Bernedoodle was first bred in 2003 by a woman named Sherry Rupke– a veterinary professional and the owner of SwissRidge Kennels located in Ontario, Canada. Over the past 17 years, she has perfected the breed through the generations, and it has quickly grown to be one of the most popular (and pricey) hybrids on the market.
Shortly after her success of the Bernedoodle, Sherry decided to make a miniature version by mixing in the Mini Poodle genetics. The Mini Poodle is just a smaller version of the standard poodle and shares the same good health and strong genes, making them a great parent dog.
If you want to purchase a true Mini Bernedoodle, then her kennel is probably the best place to get your puppy from. That being said, though, as the breed has become increasingly popular, you may be able to find other breeders throughout the United States and Canada selling puppies!
Just make sure they have the right paperwork and can prove the authenticity of the breed. The fur coats of Mini Bernedoodles can vary considerably, making them an ideal dog to “fake.” It’s not uncommon to hear stories of random Poodle mixes being overpriced and sold as Bernedoodles.
Now, let’s take a brief look at the lineage of the Mini Bernedoodle and what makes them such a special hybrid.
The Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the original Swiss Mountain Dogs or Sennunhund, in the original German language. These dogs have been bred for hundreds of years by farmers and monks living in the Swiss Alps and were first bred using wild Mastiffs and domesticated European hounds.
They’ve historically been used as a working dog. Their high intelligence levels make them easy to train, their size and deep bark make for an excellent guard dog, and their strength and physical prowess makes for a strong work dog. They’re also commonly trained to defend and herd livestock, giving them a loyal yet dominant demeanor. They generally get along very well with other animals!
Like other Swiss mountain dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs are huge. They’re one of the top-10 largest breeds, and males can easily weigh upwards of 115-pounds or more. Their considerable size and wild origins made them difficult to crossbreed, so Sherry Rupke’s success with the Bernedoodle is a considerable accomplishment.
As the larger dog, Bernedoodles are usually bred using a Bernese mother and a male Mini Poodle’s genetics.
The Mini Poodle
Mini Poodles are just a slightly smaller version of the Standard Poodle. Their smaller size is the result of breeding the genes of smaller Poodles, and they share the same strong genetics as their larger counterparts.
Poodles are native to Germany and Western Europe. They were commonly bred as hunting dogs, and they have a superior sense of smell, a courageous spirit, and may also exhibit protective attributes as well. Their thick, water-resistant fur makes them perfect for bird hunts and snowy weather; they take very well to water and tend to be strong swimmers.
As the breed grew in popularity, they often caught the eye of children and noblewomen. To cater to this specific market, early breeders started to produce a smaller version of the breed that would serve as an amicable house-pet or lapdog. Since then, the Mini Poodle has continued to be one of the most in-demand “toy dogs” on the market.
Mini Bernedoodle Size
Mini Bernedoodles can range in size from 25-pounds all the way up to 50-pounds. This means that they’re not typically small enough to be considered a “toy dog.” Some of the larger Mini Bernedoodles would be better categorized as a mid-sized breed.
However, when you consider the Bernese Mountain Dog’s massive size, producing a 25-pound Mini Bernedoodle is certainly an accomplishment. Bernedoodles are generally considered one of the Doodles’ biggest variations and are usually larger than other hybrids such as Goldendoodles or Aussiedoodles.
Mini Bernedoodle Energy Levels
The Mini Bernedoodle’s energy levels can vary significantly depending on which genetics are stronger in the hybrid. Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their high energy levels, and Mini Poodles tend to have moderate energy levels. This tends to result in a Mini Bernedoodle that has an overall moderate energy level.
However, it’s not uncommon to see some really hyper Mini’s- especially when they’re young puppies. This hyperness almost always calms down after they reach maturity at 3 to 4-years-old, though.
Mini Bernedoodles don’t need quite as much activity as a full-grown Bernedoodle, and they can get a good bit of their energy out by just running around your home or playing some fun games in the house.
Keep in mind, though, that they do need a lot of outside playtime. Bernese Mountain Dogs are almost entirely outdoor dogs, so even though your Mini Bernedoodle is small, they’ll typically have a strong instinct to go outside to run and play.
As we mentioned, Bernese Mountain Dogs are commonly used as herd animals. Mini Bernedoodles tend to inherit their parent dog’s affinity towards other animals, and they tend to get along very well with other dogs. As long as they’re well-trained, they won’t have too many issues at public dog parks, and they’ll get along great with any other dogs (or cats) you have in your home as well.
Fun And Games
Both Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs are highly regarded for their intelligence levels. Due to a phenomenon known as hybrid vigor, hybrid Mini Bernedoodles can often exhibit even more intelligence than either of their parent breeds.
This means that they take very well to training. Housetraining is a breeze for them, tricks and good behavior can be quickly taught, and they love to play games that challenge their mind. As they’re descended from a strong line of working dogs, they are highly driven by food rewards like treats. They can easily learn up to 100 different commands (or more in some dogs), and can even be taught in multiple languages!
Mini Bernedoodle Coat
One of the biggest complaints with Bernese Mountain Dogs is how much they shed. They have thick double coats that are designed to protect them from the harsh winds and sub-zero temperatures of high altitudes.
On the other hand, Poodles shed very little and have hypoallergenic fur, making them a good choice for those with allergies.
Although Bernedoodles tend to take on their Bernese mother’s multi-color coat and soft fur, their hair tends to be thick and curly like their fathering Poodle’s fur.
For the most part, Mini Bernedoodles are hypoallergenic and don’t shed much. They may shed a bit more than their Goldendoodle cousins (usually during the springtime), but it still won’t be enough to make a noticeable difference in your home.
Their hair tends to be short, growing around 3 to 4-inches long at the most. Since they have a wavy/curly hair type, though, this length ends up looking shorter than it really is. You may need to trim your Mini Bernedoodle’s hair from time to time, but most of the time, you should be able to keep their hair looking healthy as long as you brush them regularly.
Mini Bernedoodle Life Expectancy
Mini Bernedoodle’s have a long life expectancy that ranges between 12 and 18 years. One of the top advantages of breeding the Bernese Moutain Dog with the Mini Poodle is that the resulting crossbreed is significantly healthier.
Full-grown Bernese dogs typically only live 6 to 8 years. This crossbreed is the perfect example of positive breeding leading to a healthier, stronger, and more vibrant breed. This is a nice trend to see as breeding methods of the past often produced resulting crossbreeds who suffered from numerous health problems (like the sad case of the English Bulldog, for example).
Mini Bernedoodle Health Concerns
Although Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for having a lot of health problems in their later life due to their large size, Mini Bernedoodles are incredibly healthy, by contrast. Hip Dysplasia is rare, as are other bone and joint-related diseases.
The only common health concern that you may need to keep up with is their eyes. Their facial hair is often thick and curly, trapping dirt and debris around their eyes. Sometimes this can cause irritation around the ring of their eye and “eye boogers”- little pieces of gunk.
To remove this, simply take a warm, damp cloth and softly wipe the hair surrounding their eyes. If it ever gets bad, then you can usually get some anti-bacterial eye drops from your vet or even over-the-counter.
Mini Bernedoodle Personality
Mini Bernedoodles have a very loving personality! They form close bonds with families and are protective of both children and adults in your household. Their lineage of guard dogs can cause some minor territorial behavior, and it’s not uncommon for them to bark at other dogs and people passing by your window. However, they are rarely aggressive and are generally friendly to strangers as long as introductions are made!
Here are some answers to common questions asked by those interested in adding a Mini Bernedoodle puppy to their home.
Are Mini Bernedoodles Good Family Dogs?
Mini Bernedoodles are excellent family dogs! They are both protective and tolerant, making them great around children. Their moderate energy levels ensure that they can just as easily play out in the yard as they can relax in the home when it’s bedtime. Some Mini Bernedoodles may even prefer to sleep in the same room as your kids to watch over them.
How Much Should I Feed My Mini Bernedoodle?
Since Mini Bernedoodles are a bit larger than other Mini Doodles, you’ll have to feed them a bit more. Most professionals recommend anywhere between 1.5 to 2-cups daily for 25 to 35-pound dogs. If your Mini is larger and weighs closer to 50-pounds, then they may need closer to 2.7 or 3-cups.
How Should I Care For My Mini Bernedoodle?
While Mini Bernedoodle’s are great family dogs, their Bernese lineage tends to make them okay with being by themselves. They’re not quite as clingy as Labradoodle breeds, and separation anxiety usually isn’t a big issue with them. As long as they’re getting the appropriate amount of exercise and some daily love and attention, they’ll be just fine!
Are Mini Bernedoodle’s Smart Dogs?
Mini Bernedoodles are incredibly intelligent dogs. Both parent breeds are known for their high intelligence levels, and the Bernedoodle hybrid tends to be smarter. They learn best when they’re young and impressionable but can learn tricks and new behavior well into adulthood.
They learn quicker than many other breeds, so take advantage of their heightened intelligence and teach them some cool tricks!